Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Big One

Out here in California that would mean an earthquake. After seeing what I saw of The Gulf Coast the past few days the term has taken on a whole new meaning. My sister decided to ride it out in New Orleans. She has lived in NO in a turn of the century home for about 10 years now. We grew up outside of Houston and spent a few years in So. Florida. We’ve been through hurricanes. I can’t imagine what the hell she was thinking by staying behind. My niece and her young son also live in NO, but they were in Kentucky because of her work, so they got out before it hit.

My sister and her husband moved in to a hotel room in downtown NO on Friday. It was on the 6th floor and my Mom spoke to her on Monday and it seemed like the worst had passed. Then the floodwalls broke and everything changed. We haven’t been able to get in touch with her since Monday. I’m sure she is safe. She had food and water in the hotel room, but I can imagine the living conditions are terrible. They say there are about 100,000 of the cities 485,000 residents still in the city. It is estimated they can evacuate 15,000 a day. That means she could be there another 5 to 7 days.

I talked with my Mom last night trying to convince her that they will be OK. It is going to be very difficult but they will get out of this alive, and really, at this point, you can’t ask for much more. Everything they own except what they could take with them is most likely gone. They say it could be weeks or months until they can get the water out and even more before power is restored. And then what to you go back to. My sister was a chef at a 5 star restaurant. The restaurant, her home, and everything is probably under water.

I was talking to my brother yesterday and the consensus seems to be that his house has the most room, so they may go there. My house is plenty big as well, so they could end up here. Of course, I made the offer. My sister’s husband is from Minnesota, I think. They may end up there. At this point they just need to get out of the city.

I know there are a couple of NO house bloggers. Last I checked there was no new post at That Old House.


Anonymous said...

greg, i'm not a houseblogs member just a long time lurker, but i wanted to post and let you know that i'm in houston where they're bringing a TON of the refugees and i'm fairly plugged in to where the resources are available between my church informing us and the freecycle lists i'm on, if i can do anything or point your sister towards any help if she ends up here please don't hesitate to contact me. my email is


Scott in Washington said...


I've been sitting here at my keyboard, trying to figure out some way to help your sister and her family, or what to say that wouldn't probably come across as trite or inane. The best I can come up with is to request that you let us know when they finally do get a mailing address and what particular items we might be able to send them as they get started on picking up the peices.

Jocelyn said...


I'll keep your sister and her family in my prayers. I am sure you saw That Old House's post. It was a relief to hear they are okay.
This whole thing is beyond belief.


kk said...

Your sister, her husband and your family are in my thoughts. I hope that you hear good news from them soon.

Minnesota is a fantastic place to spend the fall. If they end up in the Twin Cities area and there's anything that I can help them with - please let me know. I have fair number of contacts (I work for a state-level elected official).

AngelSil said...

I know some folks who decided to 'stay behind' as well. I lived through Andrew and 3 of the 4 hurricanes that hit Florida last year and can't fathom what Nola folks are dealing with now. The best thing we can hope for is that the city makes use of this opportunity to make changes so this situation never happens again.

Our prayers are with your family. It sounds like Nola has turned into a combat zone :-/

Amanda said...

Greg I'm glad your sis is safe now.

I just felt I should add that my jaw dropped when I saw a post from Sheila (fiestygodgrl) because I know her from a parenting forum from 2-3 years ago.